Thursday, July 31, 2014

RIP Dick Smith

Dick Smith, who transformed the art of creating special makeup effects, has died aged 92.
 
96.4 Eagle News
7/31/2014
 
The pioneer worked on dozens of films including The Godfather, The Exorcist, Taxi Driver and Amadeus.
 
His protege Rick Baker revealed the death on Twitter and said: "The master is gone. My friend and mentor Dick Smith is no longer with us. The world will not be the same."
 
Smith started his career in television and became head of makeup at NBC in 1945 where he remained until 1959.
 
Working with Marlon Brando on The Godfather, Smith spent an hour and half before each scene adding jowls, age spots and grey hair to create the character Vito Corleone.
 
Brando won a best actor Oscar for the role but refused to accept it.
 
In 1973's horror The Exorcist Smith created the demonic makeup for possessed child Regan, played by Linda Blair, and fitted the vomit device for one of the film's most famous scenes.
 
His use of latex and other techniques meant he was able to artfully age F Murray Abraham from his forties to his eighties in Amadeus in 1984.
 
Smith discovered his talent while studying at Yale University. He happened to pick up a textbook detailing makeup tricks used in Hollywood.
 
He began doing makeup for the university's theatre group and reportedly roamed the campus at night in comic monster makeup.
 
In 2009 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honoured Smith with a special tribute to mark his huge contribution to the makeup profession and entertainment industry.
 
Smith is the only makeup artist in history to receive a Governors Award, the very highest and most prestigious type of Oscar.
 
Speaking at the ceremony in 2011 he said: "I have loved being a makeup artist so much, but this kind of puts a crown on all of that ... I am so grateful."
 
Smith mentored and trained dozens of makeup artists who are now huge successes in the industry themselves.
 
 
SMITH, Dick (Richard Emerson Smith)
Born: 6/26/1922, Larchmont, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 7/30/2014, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
 
Dick Smith’s westerns – makeup artist:
The Cowboy and the Blonde – 1941
From Hell to Texas – 1958
Little Big Man - 1970

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